I just took a trip to O’Hare airport in Chicago in an Audi A8, driven by an UberX driver who said he makes $45 an hour to help support his family, and that his son and sister now also drive for the service at his recommendation. Not only is he happy with the money, he also gets to make his own hours—and write off car expenses.
I also spent the past week testing out various services on Fiverr, to help out with my hobby project WellPilot. For example, I wanted to get a range of user feedback, so commissioned several $5 user tests. A few of them—especially a video user test—provided great value.
While the freelance economy has risks and downsides—job insecurity being a big one—my recent experiences with UberX and Fiverr appear to have been largely positive for both provider and consumer. In fact, my UberX driver today fully acknowledged the potential future of driverless cars, and how that might affect Uber’s offering (and, by extension, of course, his freelance work), but recognized that was a few years off. For now, he’s happy.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t work to mitigate the risks and downsides. But it’s hard to argue with someone making more than six times minimum wage doing something he enjoys, as his own boss.